Seamless Gutters vs Traditional Gutters: Which are Better for Your Home?
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 by Emma Niemi
As homeowners, we all know how important gutters are. To ensure the gutters can do their job effectively, they need to be clear of leaves, twigs, and other debris. A clogged gutter can lead to all kinds of costly problems – roof leaks, landscaping damage, basement flooding, and more.
Finding the right gutter system will help protect your home (and checkbook) from these kinds of expensive problems down the road. Both seamless and traditional sectioned gutters have advantages and disadvantages depending on various factors.
Traditional gutters come in pre-cut sections that need to be sealed and soldered at the joints. Sectioned gutters can be easily assembled and are available in a variety of materials, including steel, copper, aluminum, and vinyl.
Steel is the strongest material of the four. This makes it a good option for areas that experience extreme weather – heavy rains, and lots of snow. A disadvantage of steel is that it is prone to rust when in contact with moisture. This type of material is also fairly heavy to lift and support when installed.
Copper and aluminum are also strong but do not rust as steel does. With regular maintenance, these types of gutters can last for decades. An advantage to aluminum gutters is that they come in a wide variety of colors. This makes it easy to customize your gutters to your home and personal style preferences.
Vinyl has been gaining popularity over the years. Homeowners on a tight budget will find regular vinyl gutters very appealing because they are lightweight, do not rust, and are extremely easy to install. The drawback when it comes to vinyl is durability. This type of material is prone to developing cracks and deterioration when exposed to extreme weather conditions.
One of the advantages of seamless gutters, is that they are generally stronger than traditional gutters. This makes them ideal for systems that are prone to clogging and are not immediately cleaned. They are constructed of many of the same materials as traditional gutters but come in single pieces that are not sectioned. These single pieces are made and cut on-site using a heavy-duty machine. This process makes seamless installation unsuitable for do-it-yourself projects.
Because they only have seams the at corners and the downspout, this limits opportunity for leakage to occur. While it is not true that there is no chance of leakage, seamless gutters do leak far less than traditional gutters.
Seamless gutters tend to be more expensive in comparison to their traditional counterparts, and they can also be somewhat difficult to install. Homeowners on a tight budget should be wary of the cost associated with installing a seamless system, but if the reduced maintenance and longer life of this type of gutter system appeals to you, then it is the way to go.
Which gutter system is best for your home may not be immediately obvious. If your home sits beneath overhanging trees, the leaves or pine needles they drop could become destructive forces and cause leaks or even clogs. Seamless gutters may be slightly more expensive to install, but you’ll save so much money in repairs over the years that they’re sure to pay for themselves.